Onitsha child abuse suspect on the run

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Faith Nwanja, victim of abuse

By Uchenna Ugwu

Police are on the trail of  Mrs Nkechinyere Bartholomew, the madam accused of inflicting severe injuries and inserting sticks into the private part of her housemaid.

The 12-year-old victim, Faith Nwanja, was released to her madam at the age of eight and they were living in Onitsha in Anambra state.

The Ebonyi state Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Ms Loveth Odah, said that the suspect’s sister, who came back with the victim to Ebonyi, had been apprehended and detained.

The detainee, Miss Chinelo Ngwuta, she explained, would lead the police to get the principal suspect, Bartholomew.

She explained that the matter would be treated as a case in transit as the state command does not have jurisdiction over the matter because the grievous harm caused on the child was done at Anambra state.

Frail looking and badly injured Faith Nwanja, had told NAN that her madam subjected her to serious bodily harm and abuse during the four years she served as her maid.

“My mistress usually inserts sticks inside my vagina, hits me with iron rods, wires and also ties me with chain whenever she is going out.

“My Aunty always use blade to cut my skin.

“These scars, injuries on my head, body and lips were inflicted on me by my Aunty for 4 years, ‘’ Nwanja narrated in her dialect.

Nwanja, a native of Okoffia-Ohaji, is currently in custody of Ezza-South Local Government in Ebony state.

The suspect, Bartholomew, is at large.

Mrs Ngozi Nwanja, the mother of the victim, said her daughter was 8 when she was handed over to Bartholomew.

Mr Godwin Igwe, Head of Department, Child Development in the state ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, described the degree of injures on the victim as “real damage’’.

“This is worrisome. There is increasing cases of child brutalization.

“From all indications Nwanja’s hand is condemned and we don’t know the extent of damage to her brain and other parts of her body,” Igwe said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FEITH), Dr Emeka Ogah, has said the victim was currently undergoing series of medical examination.

Ogah who was represented by Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr Robbinson Ono, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that paediatricians have been directed to carry out various test on the victim.

“We are still investigating the case. We cannot give out any report now until the paediatricians have concluded the tests.’’

The Wife of the State Governor, Mrs Rachael Umahi, has condemned the dehumanisation of Nwanja.

Rachael Umahi, wife of Ebony governor

She directed all relevant agencies to ensure that the culprit was handled in accordance with the law while the victim would be treated and rehabilitated.

Mrs Umahi gave the directive through her Chief Press Secretary, Mr Donatus Owo.

“This act is highly condemnable, we have asked the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Police , organisations and agencies to follow up the matter to bring the culprit to book,” she said. (NAN)


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